Home TopicMergers & Acquisitions Dealmakers: Steve Monnington’s latest review of exhibitions M&A

Dealmakers: Steve Monnington’s latest review of exhibitions M&A

by EN

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Merger Strategies looks at some of the incisive decision making across last month’s mergers and acquisitions. 

Incisive Media, the B2B information and events company has been sold to Private Equity firm EagleTree Capital for a price estimated at £40m– £45m. Incisive operates in three sectors – technology, financial services and business sustainability – and the acquired portfolio has been split between two of EagleTree’s investments. The Channel Company, a leading IT-channel focused B2B marketing company, have acquired Incisive’s technology portfolio which comprises Computing, Computer Reseller News (CRN) and Channel Partner Insight. The financial services and business sustainability portfolios, including brands such as Investment Week and Professional Pensions, have been acquired by Arc Media Holdings. The events part of the business that Arc has acquired includes two forums – Workplace Savings and Benefits (WSB) and the Financial Services Forum – and is Arc’s third acquisition since the business was formed by Simon Foster and backed by EagleTree and Canson Capital Partners in May last year. The Incisive portfolio joins the UK agriculture business (primarily Farmers Guardian and the Lamma trade show) acquired from Agribriefing and the Farm Business Innovation exhibition acquired from Fortem International. Incisive’s CEO, Jonathan Whiteley will join Arc.
Incisive Media was founded by Tim Weller in 1994 with the launch of Investment Week and has been through several iterations including a six-year stint as a public company, until it was taken private again in 2006, when Apax partners funded a management buyout.

Hyve has announced that it will sell its Russian portfolio of exhibitions due to the compliance and operational challenges brought about by the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and amid concern that exhibitors may boycott Hyve’s western events if they continued to operate in Russia. The Russian portfolio was trimmed down in 2018 by the sale of 56 non-core shows, but Hyve continued to run the big brands such as Mosbuild. Details on the buyer, Rise Expo Limited, and its management are scarce. All we know is that Rise is a new company registered in the UAE headed by a German national with significant exhibition experience. The price to be paid will be a maximum of £72m based on an earnout over 10 years. Hyve are the first western organiser to announce the disposal of its Russian interests but there are several other organisers such as Reed and Messe Frankfurt who have significant Russian event portfolios who have not yet given any indication of their position regarding Russia.

In one of my recent columns, I mentioned that several industry executives in the USA were negotiating Private Equity backing. Rick McConnell, former president of North America for Informa Markets and Jennifer Hoff are being backed by  Their first acquisition is the North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA). NATDA owns the NATDA Trailer Show held annually in Nashville as well as NATDA magazine and also runs a membership model.

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